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Sharks say downtown projects could force team out of San Jose

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The San Jose Sharks are calling on their fans to help them prevent potential development plans from pushing the club out of its home arena and the city itself.

"For more than a year, we have been sharing our concerns with you regarding the proposed, massive development projects within the Diridon area of downtown San Jose, which surrounds SAP Center," the Sharks wrote Thursday in an email to fans.

"For the past several years, we have been sharing those same concerns with city of San Jose officials and Google. Unfortunately, those discussions have yielded limited results, and the planners of these projects appear intent on moving forward in a manner that could force the Sharks out of San Jose."

The city of San Jose is looking to redevelop about 250 acres of land in the Diridon neighborhood. The proposal overlaps with Google's "Downtown West" project, which would involve up to 65 new buildings in the 84-acre Diridon Station area.

The Sharks are concerned about the impact of those plans on parking availability around SAP Center, as well as fans' ability to access the arena both during and after construction.

The team is asking fans to submit feedback on the plans to the city both online and at a community meeting in early December. The Sharks also called on supporters to raise concerns about the project with local lawmakers.

"We haven't really gotten where we needed to go with the city," Sharks president Jonathan Becher told reporters Thursday, according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.

He added: "We're frankly freaked out on behalf of our fans. ... My sense is everyone's hoping that someone will figure this out, the city will eventually figure this out. But to use an old phrase that's used often, hope isn't a strategy."

The Sharks' lease at SAP Center runs through at least 2025, and they have the option to renew it until 2040.

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